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Should You Always Leave Your Laptop On The Charger?

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It is confusing for most of us whether to keep our powerpacks plugged in when using our laptops. We managed to come up with some interesting facts which you may find to be of interest.

Know your battery.

There are two main types of battery used in laptops: lithium-ion and lithium-polymer. Although they are different technologies they function in broadly the same way, generating power through the movement of electrons.

  • A battery cannot be overcharged. There’s no danger of overcharging a battery if you leave it plugged in all the time. As soon as it hits 100 percent it will cease charging and won’t start again until the voltage falls below a certain level.
  • Fully discharging a battery will damage it. Allowing the battery to become completely empty for an extended period can put it into a deep discharge state. This can be fatal—you might never be able to charge it again.

Things That Damage Lithium Batteries

The truth about lithium-based batteries is that they are inherently unstable. They begin to lose capacity from the moment they are produced, and there are numerous factors that hasten their decline. These include:

  • Charge/discharge cycles. Every battery has a finite number of times it can be charged and discharged.
  • Voltage level. The higher the charge level (measured in volts per cell), the shorter the battery’s life.
  • High temperature, over 30 degrees celsius. This can cause irreparable damage.

Many modern laptops have software that helps deal with keeping batteries healthy. This is usually labeled as a “battery charge threshold” or something similar, and will usually include a maximum charge and minimum charge area inside which the battery will draw power.

Lenovo, for example, comes with a Vantage app within which you can set a charge threshold. All you have to do is launch the app, choose Device Settings, and hit the toggle next to Battery Charge Threshold. From there you can set the maximum and minimum battery levels.

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